For those of you who follow my travel posts, it’s important to note that more often than not, I’m a Business tourist. This means limited time and grabbing snapshots of experiences, especially those which are different from my home country. Among my favourite past times is, shopping, capturing a bit of history and architectural designs , visiting significant landmarks,tasting local cuisine and observing similarities or differences between countries.
The picture above is taken in Hauptbahnhof, Europaplatz – a very long street that leads to the central train station in Berlin. Of course my main stop that late afternoon was at the Galleries Lafayette, a department store where the main attraction for me was the ample floorspace of music. This was in 2011 when CDs were still en vogue. I just loved the fact that most music was digitally loaded and with a press of a button you could load up and listen to your favourite CD or track. Of course I also loved the cozy ambience created by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong beaming from the overhead speakers. I remember losing track of time so that I had to walk in the dark, guessing my way back to the hotel to join my colleagues for dinner. Though I felt safe walking on my own in the dark, I’d suggest being more cautious these days.
Seeing a tram and riding one in Berlin was a new experience for me. Trams were phased out in our country in the early 80s.
The picture above reminds me of how much we walked in Germany. And if you are tired of walking, you can grab a bicycle parked on various accessible sites and cycle to your next destination. We’re still in the early days of integrating our transport system so that it works for all road users and reduces car traffic congestion. To be honest, it was tiring for many of us to hop on and off trains, trams,buses and walk so much. Heck, I haven’t ridden a bicycle for many years and wasn’t about to take chances in a foreign country.
One of our visits was to the “red brick” Berlin city hall. The neo-Renaissance building with rounded arches was built along with three courtyards in 1861. Below is a snapshot of some of the beautiful decorative stained glass windows and the entrance staircase to floors above.
Taken from the rooftop of the Berlin city hall is the picture below of one of the largest protestant churches in Berlin, the Berlin Cathedral, otherwise referred to as the Berliner Dom.
More views of the Cathedral and surroundings below:
Interesting Architecture in Berlin
These buildings in Potsdamer Platz are located at the center of where the Berlin Wall once stood. A brick line cuts through the square indicating where the wall used to stand. Our reason for visiting was also to do some shopping. We soon realised that Germans take their Sundays very seriously as a day of rest – another learning for us where our own shops are open everyday of the week.
So, instead of shopping, we joined the locals in watching a paraplegic cycling race.
Of course we had ample opportunity to test German cuisine and feasting on this kind of food helps to see why you need to walk a lot in Germany.
Thank you for reading and join me next week as I cover a trip to China.